Consider the Lily
About This Booklet
Booklet 6 of 6 in the Hearing God series. In this beautiful booklet, Martha shares one of her most poignant and personal writings regarding the secret of total surrender.
“God called me to consider the lily…”
Matthew 6:28b AMP
Consider the lilies of the field and learn thoroughly how they grow; they neither toil nor spin.
All of us are addicted to living the lie that there is life outside of Christ, the lie that my man-made fabrication of significance means something! But it is fruitless and futile. Everything we do equals NOTHING. All the kingdoms built, all the works done are dung: refuse, rubbish, trash.
Who wants to be free, desires to rest, and yearns to end the struggle? We humans have many ways to pacify our heart sickness and soul darkness. What’s your addiction? Food, church work, emotions, sex, self-hatred, control, service, job, perfection, people, family…
Wherever you think you can find fulfillment is your obsession. All of it is false worship…misapplied worship tied up with the enemy’s tendrils to capture your heart. No matter what you have chosen to quench the fire of your desperation, within these few pages the answer rests, still and waiting.
“Rest came into the human condition as a gift, the hardest to receive yet so wonderfully essential! The one fear God permits – and even commands – is the fear that we should fail to enter, live in, and be held in love by…that foreign thing called rest.”
Hebrews 4:1 NLT
God’s promise of entering his rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it.
In Consider the Lily, Martha shares one of her most poignant and personal writings regarding the secret of total surrender. There is rest and peace for all who know just how weary they truly are.
“To be utterly simple is the hardest of all efforts.”
My God said, “Consider the lilies.”
Matthew 6:28-29 AMP
“Consider the lilies of the field and learn thoroughly how they grow; they neither toil nor spin.” “Yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his magnificence (excellence, dignity, and grace) was not arrayed like one of these.”
I was thrilled – a new truth, a new adventure. Yes! I was glad to obey. So I tried to be a lily, calm and sweet. Feverishly I set out to rest. Do you see? You can‘t try desperately – to rest. You can’t try feverishly – to be still. But the Lord said:
“I didn’t call you to be a lily…I called you to consider the lily.”
So I said: “Now I understand!” I got out my books to study the lily. Understand the lily, that was my topic. I will conquer that lily. Yes, Lord! So I researched lily in the Bible and I gained nothing. I looked at lilies in the Holy Land and I made a list of attributes. Now I was making progress! I would find the secret of the lily. I gathered my facts and put them in order. Yes, I can know this! The Lord said:
“I didn’t call you to study the lily…I called you to consider the lily.”
Contemplate, observe, reflect on…not gather facts! I had exposed my beliefs. The first belief was you can mimic – you can act like Jesus. You can just act like what God wants you to be. It’s like putting on the costume of a lion and perfecting your roar. You look like a fool because you are not a lion.
You cannot mimic what you are not.
And the next belief: you can study what you are not and by knowledge become what you should be. I can tell you all the attributes of the lion. That does not make me a lion. You are even a greater fool if you study the lion.
You cannot ‘become’ by mimicry nor can you ‘master’ by knowledge. That is pretense. And you cannot gain God’s character by effort, only by surrender to your own destitution.
I didn’t know what the lily was. I didn’t know anything about the lily. And I was shamed into admitting it.
The lily had in fact released the secret, but I knew it not. In failing, I could need. In giving up, I could be mastered. In ceasing to try, I could be rescued. In possessing nothing, I could receive.
Over the course of time, I discovered:
I cannot save.
I do not know.
I do not have.
I cannot be.
I cannot do.
I cannot get.
I cannot hold.
I cannot solve.
I cannot understand.
I cannot survive.
I cannot even believe.
Now I knew why the lily had been beyond my reach. I wanted to add the lily to my treasures of faith, to my knowledge, to my gifts of the spirit, to my strengths, but the lily would have no part of it. I could not own the lily or use the lily nor could I access its composure. The lily would be the only principle or none at all.
The lily doesn’t grow on a stage nor in a showcase. The lily grows alone in the desert, in the back regions of the Holy land. The lily grows in remote places; people seldom see it. It likes a barren place of poverty that it might shine for Him alone who designed the lily and loves to keep it.
The lily rejected me because I possessed too much: too much strength, too much knowledge, too much…me. I had to lose me to make space for the simplicity of the lily. The lily “neither toils nor spins” (Mt. 6:28).
God is the worker. Christ is the worker. I cannot do Their work, but I tried and tried, failed and failed.
Hebrews 4:9 NASB
“So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.”
I had many opinions about the meaning of the lily, but in the end I knew that the lily didn’t stand for peace or rest. That was only the evidence. The lily stood for faith and peace was merely the result, the proof, the outward manifestation of the faith within.
The lily is faith. Faith that God is and He IS God! To be simple enough, and poor enough, and humble enough to receive it – and it is God’s to reduce me to that. Oh, I will fight His reducing me to faith! I will protest as unfair that He destroys my faith in man. I will screech and accuse Him if He touches my faith in myself. Yet my trust in all else must be disappointed. Shattered. Killed. I will not give it up any other way.
The lily had not come to support me. The lily had come to destroy all that was not lily in me.
I believed in my effort and I trusted in my sources. Effort and trust failed me, again and again. The lily was the proclamation of the word…the Word that God is God, and I am not. And the bottom fell out of my sufficiency.
We must be:
- empty – so we can receive,
- impoverished – that we may have wealth,
- naked – that we can be clothed,
- reduced – so we can be expanded.
So I take my unmoving grave, to abide rooted always in the unseen nurture of a Life not my own. And what rises to grow and appears above ground, what blooms and drifts fragrance, what bows to the Wind and is washed by the Rain, what glows to the Sun and bears fruit for Another…is the visible Christ living His own resurrection life. And it is none of me.
Galatians 2:20 NASB
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
The lily stands for Christ in His transcendent risen life: His reign, His fruit, His glory, made visible in one small life. The real Christian life is the easiest existence in the world…because it is Another’s life you LET live through, for, in you! And that Life – Christ Jesus – is the only Living Life in the universe.
What He asks you to be, HE IS.
What He calls you to do, HE DOES.
Where He sends you, HE GOES.